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Cleaner Roles & Responsibilities: 2 & 3 Person Teams

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We make our money by selling time. Efficiency is extremely important to our bottom line and organization is extremely important to efficiency. I have talked to many owners who say that 3 person teams do not work. Then again, I have talked to many owners that consistently do $1.4M+/yr and every one of them uses 3 person teams. If you have company cars there simply is no more efficient way to operate for your bottom line, and a team of 3 is relatively easy to manage. There are successful companies that use 4-5 efficiently.

As a consultant I have spent many hours watching teams spend as much as 10 minutes getting organized before they enter each home and then, again, another 10-15 minutes getting organized upon entering the home. It is almost like it was a new experience for them each time they arrived at a new home. They had no system. Every cleaner must know exactly what their responsibility is if they are on a 2 person or a 3 person team. No matter how you normally operate, 2 or 3 on a team, there are days when operating one or two teams at the opposite number than usual could make a difference in meeting client requested time frames even though you have an unplanned absence. Your employees must be prepared to operate efficiently under either circumstance.


Document exactly what the job responsibilities are for each cleaner on a 2 and 3 person team. There are a variety of ways it can be divided. The Key Factor is to equalize the work load so that all cleaners end at exactly the same time. We split the work load for 2 person teams with the Team Leader doing dusting and kitchens and the partner doing bathrooms and vacuuming. Mopping was done by both. 3 person teams were split bathrooms to one person, dusting to the Team Leader and Kitchens and large vacuuming followed by mini vacuuming to the kitchen person. Whoever got done first, the bath partner or the Team Leader would begin mopping. When the 3rd person was finished they would also grab a mop.


Following this process will only work when it is clearly understood by every cleaner in your organization. If you rarely need to change a team to a different number of players, give the Supervisor a copy of your Team Roles and Responsibilities the morning of the day they are changing roles. Be sure that your hand out is complete. If something is not covered there is a chance it will not get done because it is no one’s responsibility. Be sure your process is followed each and every time. No exceptions because it was a ‘different home’. Your process is your process because you believe there is no better way to clean a home, so, follow it every time.

The Supervisor must make sure that they guide their team through the cleaning and make changes when necessary. If it is a first time in home and the kitchen is in relatively good shape but the 3 bathrooms are full of soap scum and mildew (which is actually often times true of first time in repeat clients) the Supervisor should have the kitchen person clean one of the bathrooms and then begin vacuuming. If the Team Leader does not make this adjustment there will be 2 cleaners watching the bathroom person clean the 3rd bath at the end of the job. The Team Leader will not automatically think of these things, however. Possibly not after a full year of working there would they click to using some kind process that would make then more efficient. The Team Leader must be taught to lead. It might actually put a whole new perspective on 3 person team for you.

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